Bush’s sewage plant, Hurricane Bertha, and fuel from wine

If you took in some fireworks displays this Independence Day, chances are they were all sorts of colors—but not so green. Future July 4ths may be more eco as researchers develop nitrogen-rich fireworks instead of toxic pyrotechnics filled with perchlorate, barium, and copper.

Celebrating Independence Day in a different light, San Franciscans gathered more than the 100,000 signatures required to get an initiative on the November ballot for renaming a water treatment plant after the President in honor of his $3 trillion deficit and other dubious achievements. Looks like it could pass, so to speak. Organizers for the ceremony for the George W. Bush Sewage Plant, scheduled for inauguration day, Jan. 20, 2009, plan to wave a “Mission Accomplished” banner.

Just in time for Bertha blowing toward land, Morgan Freeman’s “Get Prepared” PSAs hit the air, part of his PLAN!TNOW campaign with the Sierra Club. The actor (typecast as God) is founder of this non-profit to help high-risk communities get information and protection as hurricane season approaches. Country singer Kenny Chesney also jumped on board.

Across the Atlantic, Henry Winkler is driving a Lexus hybrid for the UK's "National Year of Reading," visiting British schools with his children’s novels about Hank Zipzer, the World’s Greatest Underachiever. Hmm, is the car's 26 mpg performance on freeways an underachievement, Fonz?

Meanwhile, Prince Charles converted his vintage Aston Martin to run on fuel distilled from surplus English wine, which supposedly spews 85% less than fossil fuels. Cheers, Charles!

As part of the Prince’s commitment to reducing his CO2 output by 25% over the next decade, he and wife Camilla retrofit an old farmhouse in Wales called Llwynywermod Estates. Environmental features include sewage recycling, underground rainwater collection, hemp and sheep’s wool insulation, organic fruits and veggies in the kitchen garden, and furnishings built from the Royal woods. The retreat will rent for $1200 to $2,000 next year, when the regal couple bed elsewhere in the kingdom, like his own eco-village in South Devon, where the Prince’s Foundation is working on the green Sherford development. Sustainable plans include wind turbine power, solar energy, local construction materials, green roofs, and vehicle-free zones (bicycles are a fixture with every home) for a population of 12,000.

Also in England, as part of The Guardian’s “Green Room” series, Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck) spoke of her Malawi trip to support the Ariel “Be Water Wise” campaign in developing countries.


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